What you need to know:
- Cabinet Secretary for Sports Ababu Namwamba has promised to reward the team handsomely should they emerge champions.
- He visited the team on Monday in training and handed over the national flag to them.
Kenya national women’s cricket team captain Esther Wachira has said that with team work, they can seal a berth to the global qualifiers of the 2024 International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s T20 World Cup in Dubai.
Kenya is among eight teams that will from Saturday compete in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Division One qualifiers at the Entebbe Cricket Oval in Uganda.
The two finalists in the tournament will progress to the global qualifiers. The World Cup will be held in Bangladesh.
Test nation Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda and the hosts are the teams that will feature in the competition.
Kenya, coached by ex-international Francis Otieno, qualified for the competition by virtue of winning the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Division Two qualifiers held in September in Botswana.
“We believe that we stand a chance because we are going to take each game at a time,” said Wachira after the team’s training session at Ruaraka Sports Club in Nairobi on Tuesday.
“We are working so hard to maintain the achievement we got in Botswana. Supporting and believing in each other will be crucial for us. Our first target is to reach the semi-finals and then final.”
Kenya is in Group “A” alongside Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Botswana, while Group “B” consists of Namibia, Uganda, Nigeria and Rwanda. The top two teams from every pool will qualify for the semifinals.
Kenya will on Saturday open their campaign against Zimbabwe – a side that Wachira and coach Otieno singled-out as their main threat.
“We have not played Zimbabwe for a very long time and it is a test nation. They have performed very well in most tournaments that we have faced them, so they have an upper hand,” said the captain.
Otieno said that due to rain that has lately been pounding Nairobi, they have been forced to train on cement and not grass wicket. But he exuded confidence of a good performance by his girls in Entebbe.
“We want to go to Uganda and dominate the games that we will play. We must be able to play better than the opponents,” said the former Kenya international.
Cabinet Secretary for Sports Ababu Namwamba has promised to reward the team handsomely should they emerge champions.
He visited the team on Monday in training and handed over the national flag to them.
“I would like to come back to receive the flag, the trophy and news of qualification,” said the CS.
“Kenya has been right at the top table of cricket worldwide. This country has brushed shoulders with the very best. In recent years, however, it has been on a downward spiral. You are the generation that will take us back to where we belong.”
The team is expected to jet out of the country for Uganda on Thursday.
Esther Wangare (captain), Melvin Khagoitsa, Venasa Adhiambo, Queentor Abel, Lavendah Alivitsa, Flavia Atieno, Mary Wambui, Charity Muthoni, Mercy Ahono, Kelvia Achieno, Josephine Abuom, Judith Ajiambo, Kreeshna Mehta, Jemimah Ndanu
Marion Juma, Edith Waithaka